“What We Wished We’d Known in the Bee-ginning”
Beekeeping is one of the most frustrating, confidence-crushing, physically and emotionally demanding things I’ve ever done. Fifteen years later, it’s still one of my most favorite things.
That first handful of beekeeping years was painful and expensive. If I had it to do over again, there are many things I wished I had done differently. Aware of the stingingly hard lessons I learned, I wondered if others had faced similar challenges, and surveyed thousands of beekeepers to see how they weathered the nearly vertical learning curve.
A decade later, I continue to query folks to see what they wished they’d known that would’ve made those early years more productive, safe, and sustainable for bees.
Since unexpectedly becoming a beekeeper in 2008, Charlotte has fallen head-over-hive with this intelligent insect. She loves sharing her beekeeping experiences and how they’ve shaped her life through humorous and insightful presentations and articles. A popular Midwest speaker, organizations repeatedly turn to her for her ability to encourage and connect with beekeepers, especially “new-bees.”
I’m a beekeeper, bee educator, and lover of all things bee, including the grandson under this umbrella.
I appreciate his attitude: when life gives you rain, go stomp in the puddles … but be prepared with the umbrella should it rain again.
Please read to and with kids…
With the goal of getting bee-positive information in the hands of children, this delightful book is available in a softcover edition at no or low-cost in limited quantities. A hardcover edition is also available; sales support softcover book distribution.
I teach beekeeping at a local college. One early summer evening, one of my students, “Doris,” an experienced beekeeper, was stung three times while working hives. Doris had been stung before; nothing seemed different this time. She finished up hive inspection and told me she was returning to the classroom because of the heat (as were others, although they trailed her by a few minutes.) What then happened has forever changed the way I keep bees and teach.
Through divine intervention and because of the heat, another student had (unusually) stayed in the classroom that night. He and Doris began chatting. With apparently no warning, Doris suddenly lost consciousness and collapsed. Anaphylactic shock.